History of the House
Designed by Charles Robert Cockerell
A celebration space & treasured family home
The history of Loughcrew House is a turbulent and fascinating one. Loughcrew Estate has been owned by the Naper family since 1655 and two of the houses which once stood here were thrice destroyed by fire, most recently in 1964. This bad luck is said to be a result of the houses being cursed, ‘Three times will Loughcrew be consumed by fire. Crows will fly in and out of the windows. Grass will grow on its doorstep.’
The main house you see today was sympathetically rebuilt, with the help of architect Alfred Cochrane, out of the shell of the old orangery, azalea houses and furnace rooms. Two striking palm houses, used as an entrance hall and a dining room, bookend either side. It encompasses many charming original 19th century features, as well many stunning aspects which have been added by the present owner. It is not only a celebration space but a treasured family home.
The buildings which make up today’s main house are attached to a Parisian style courtyard which was designed to complement a grand, greek revival house which once stood here – unfortunately it was the second of the two houses to be destroyed by fire. All that remains of this house – designed by the famous English architect Charles Cockerell, an innovator of neo-classical architecture – is its portico entrance which has been reassembled to look like a mini-Acropolis. The courtyard buildings, which include guest apartments and reception rooms, boast projecting porches with carved limestone detailing, as well as timber sash windows and slate roofs. The courtyard itself has a cobbled floor.
Records of dwellings on the Loughcrew Estate can be seen in a 1612 civil survey. It describes a medieval motte, bailey and ring fort as well as 60 wooden huts, a long house and a mill house.
The oldest part of the church was formerly a tower house and was the childhood home of Oliver Plunkett. Oliver Cromwell confiscated the estate off the Plunkett family in 1652 before it was assigned to the Naper family in 1655. One thing is for sure the history of Loughcrew House and Estate is a fascinating one!
Loughcrew’s house and gardens, along with several other historical features dotted throughout the 200 acres of grounds as well as the Neolithic cairns found within the surrounding countryside – some of Ireland’s oldest archaeological treasures – form part of an Irish landscape steeped in religious significance.